Manchin may buck party in presidential vote
April 20th, 2012
11:29 AM ET
6 years ago

Manchin may buck party in presidential vote

(CNN) – As a Democrat in conservative West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin has sought to make his independence clear.

And that independence might just extend all the way to the November voting booth, as the senator – who is up for re-election - said in a report published Thursday that he might not cast a ballot for the top name on his party's ticket, President Barack Obama.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"Right now in West Virginia, these first three and a half years haven't been that good to West Virginia," he said of the Obama presidency this week, according to a report in the National Journal. "So, then you look [at] what the options will be, who will be on the other end."

Manchin expressed reservations about GOP candidate Mitt Romney, and said he would base his eventual decision on what is best for his constituents, who look at "the performance and the result that's been attained."

In a statement to CNN, Manchin said his comments were nothing new.

"I have some real differences with both Governor Romney and the President, as I have said many times," he said in the statement. "I think there are many West Virginians like me who have deep concerns about Governor Romney understanding the challenges ordinary people face. And there are many West Virginians who believe that he's out of touch, especially because of his plan to end Medicare as we know it and privatize Social Security."

His differences with Obama include energy policy and "the need to get our financial house in order."

The former West Virginia governor is known for bucking not only the opposition party, but his own – even literally shooting a rifle through a Democratic-backed cap and trade bill in his 2010 Senate campaign.

That race was a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert Byrd, and Manchin's support from Republicans and Independents was key to his 11-point defeat of former state GOP chair John Raese.

Manchin was one of about a dozen Democrats to side in a March vote with Republicans on the Keystone XL pipeline. He voted against both parties' bills to raise the federal government's debt ceiling in the heated showdown last summer.

He was also one of about a dozen Democrats to vote against their party in the March Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, which Obama was no fan of.

But national Republicans point out that when Obama first ran for the White House in 2008, Manchin was a supporter of the then-senator from Illinois. They say that Manchin started becoming more vocal in his opposition to the administration only after he decided to run for the Senate in 2010.

"No amount of election-year rhetoric from Senator Manchin will cause voters in West Virginia to forget that three years ago he unabashedly supported President Obama, while predicting great things for West Virginia under his Administration. Instead of trying to put distance between he and the President as they both face re-election, Senator Manchin should be more focused on a simple, three word message to his constituents – 'I am sorry,'" National Republican Senatorial Campaign Communications Director Brian Walsh told CNN.

Manchin said that regardless of ideology, "I strongly believe that every American should always be rooting for our President to do well, no matter which political party that he or she might belong to."

He was formerly the two-term governor of the state, and is again running against Raese. Two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report, say that as of now, the seat is likely to stay in Democratic hands.

Also see:

Romney releases March fundraising figures

Paul campaign touts campaign cash

RNC looks to Facebook for political edge

Biden says Democrats have chance in Arizona

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Manchin • John Raese • West Virginia
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What I find very compelling about the conservative base is when things go good President Obama gets no credit but when things go bad, he gets all the credit! Reminds me of sen. Linsey Graham who was being interviewed on CNN by Wolf Blitzer after the death of Moammar Ghadaffi! When Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Graham does President Obama gets any credit for what had been accomplished in Libya, the senator paused, then he replied..."his administration does." Hypocrisy! When we supported the mission to protect civilians in Libya, the President was criticized relentlessly by the right but when things went good, someone else get's all the credit! Racists!

    April 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    @ Truth –

    It's Friday. Rudy's always off on Fridays. It's 5 PM somewhere, you know.

    April 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Tim Maxwell

    'Speaking with National Journal magazine about Republican Party priorities for the 2008-2010 Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." That explains all the filibustering from 2008-2010 and now, while in control of the House, why all the bills are "loaded" and not up-or-down votes. SO can you Republicans explain why "thinking" and "remembering" American voters should put your party back in office when so much damage was done to our country in the 8 years Bush had control???? Give facts, not rhetoric, please!!!

    April 20, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The Truth wrote on page 7:

    Rudy NYC my question was addressed to "all the far left loons in here calling Manchin a DINO" I thought you were an independent?!!! POP! hahahaha... thanks for the laugh at your expense.
    A laugh at my expense? Do you know what they say about people who laugh at their own jokes? POP! At least you could be original. Good grief. You are only demonstrating a lack of creative thought.

    [Footnote:] I see that you are the one who's still looking. Thanks, imitaion is the highest form of flattery. POP!

    April 20, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    @ Lolo

    Who cares!!!!!!!!!! They can back Mittens all day long and he is still going to lose. What a hoot him conversing with the voters in Pa. I laughed until I cried. No one bakes fresh cookies like the old days anymore. Oops I forgot his cook at home does it for him. This man is pathetic. He has no idea how normal people live, but the right wing will vote for him anyway just to get rid of our Black President. Shame Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They know this is the truth but do not have the cajones to admit it.

    I couldn't agree with you more Lolo. The Romney's are one family I never laugh at but when I saw that clip last night on Lawrence O'Donnell's show re the cookies, I was so hysterical with laughter, I cried. This guy Willard is a TOTAL freak. Run him if you want and don't cry in November from the outcome.
    Obama ALL the way.

    April 20, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    "Then I'll just sit back and enjoy the destruction of this country! It would be fun to watch!"
    What a piece of work you are.
    Funny, we think the same about you and your cohorts every day.

    April 20, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Jack V - A conservative by definition is someone who stands in front of history & yells "STOP". To get ahead this country must PROGRESS!
    "progess" towards WHAT??? Obama and the Democrats have the country on the edge of the financial abyss. And you want to "progess" over the edge?!! Any sane person would yell "STOP".

    April 20, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Get a job Hippies wrote on page 7:

    Rudy NYC,
    You are ascribing too much logic to the obama backers. if you oppose the guy for any reason you are a racist and a hate filled person. They cannot get past that even if you offer cogent arguments to your point so i would not look for any great answers to your question.
    Opportunity knocks once again. "What on earth are you talking about?"

    April 20, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "One need only look at the lead articles on today's Political ticker to see where the CNN editors of this page consistently stand in the Fall elections."

    Indeed. The MSM will now do everything they can to inflate Mittens in every way possible so that it looks like a horse race for the next 7 months. The LAST thing they want is for people to be able to make up their minds on the facts, etc. Mittens will be given free rein to basically lie and bombast himself silly and the MSM will simply function as a bullhorn. Bullhorns don't think critically nor question whether someomone is full of crap. So, for example, when we see Mittens running around trying to project onto Obama what are universally considered Mittens' biggest weaknesses (and he is implicitly acknowledging this is true by engaging in this tactic), what you will see is what we already saw: the MSM studiously avoiding callnig him out on his "I know yo are but what am I" playground politics and shifting towards the fgalse equivalency Mittens is desperately trying to establish. Why? Well, it's not that they really support one or the other. It's more that Mittens is the one who need the help propping up his campaign, so that the MSM can more furiously sensationalize the election as a horse race for as long as possible. It ALL comes back to ad revenue.

    April 20, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    @ Truth – It's Friday. Rudy's always off on Fridays. It's 5 PM somewhere, you know.
    It's called the Friday Funnies, and the correct Yaba-Daba-Doo time would be BEER:30.

    April 20, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    An advance warning to Democrats in all blue states in America! If Mitt Romney gets elected president, don't work or visit any flaws on sky scrapers above 50 floors! Please take all precautionary measures and keep your family safe! God Bless!

    April 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Fair is Fair
    @ Truth – It's Friday. Rudy's always off on Fridays. It's 5 PM somewhere, you know.
    Yeah, he's been "off" for a while... I'm beginning to think he's more west coast based and involved heavily with medicinal herbs they sell out that way.

    April 20, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Tim Maxwell

    According to the brilliant Cheney, "Deficits don't matter". Yeah, right. At least not until President Obama put the cost of two wars, a drug prescription plan and the tax breaks for the rich (thank you, George Bush) ON the books which shows an increase in the deficit under his watch. But, oh noooo, don't bring that to the attention of the American people. President Obama is being blamed for trying to get this country OUT of the fiscal mess Bush and your Republican Party put us in!. If the pantry gets depleted for 8 years, it takes a h*ll of a lot more money to restock it. Wake up America!

    April 20, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. seanomatic

    If he does not vote with the Dems, why on earth would you run on a Dem ticket?

    April 20, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. bosfaninva

    ""The comments from rigthwingers on this board prove how stupid Repukes are – they call this inbred goober "intelligent."
    What an absolutely riveting expose into your obviously profoundly deep thought processing. Let me guess... Yale graduate? No? Hooked on phonics? Yeah... hooked on phonics"

    Truth hurts, eh Cletus?

    April 20, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Thomas Johnson

    I don't know why Manchin even bothers to caucus with the Democrats. He is not one of them, so just make it for easy for every one and become a Republican. What's the fuss?

    April 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Woman In California - "He said how dare that SOB try and dictate what's best for this country when he's never been a part of it (money in Swiss accounts, draft dodger, etc.) Need I go on? The driver was right. I couldn't agree more so don't take too much away from the polls."
    And we all know that banrupt leftist looney land California is exactly like the rest of the country! How'd that work out for you in 2010??? Oh yeah, it didn't. BTW, I hope you tipped the driver well. Sounds like they might be running low on their meds, or herbs.

    April 20, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Mine Design

    I couldnt agree more with this decision and i too am a democrat that is sick and tired of this BS Joke that is the current administraion!

    April 20, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Jack V – A conservative by definition is someone who stands in front of history & yells "STOP". To get ahead this country must PROGRESS!
    "progess" towards WHAT??? Obama and the Democrats have the country on the edge of the financial abyss. And you want to "progess" over the edge?!! Any sane person would yell "STOP".
    Coming from the people who felt it was great idea to cut taxes and increase spending, conviced that a balanced budget would descend from Heaven, I find any statement from a rightie on budgets to be a joke. They have repeatedly submitted these budgets, knowing they blow holes in the debt, yet they do it anyway, expecting that eventually the law of averages will work in tehri favor: how long do we have to wait before the Right admits they were operating from a false premise and that all tehy wanted to do was destroy the government because of something they read in an Ayn Rand novel told them this was some perverse expression of freedom? Live in the rightie world, where up is down and blame is something to be lodged againsts your enemies ( both real and imagined), and a conscience is a handicap. We are on the edge of the financial abyss because of the Right and their efforts at social engineering.

    April 20, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Quintana Roos

    That Joe Mansion is a schmuck - opposed to health reform ; in the pocket of the coal industry. Might as well be a Republican. Believe he also opposed the Wall St. reform bill.

    April 20, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Taran

    @Jack V, I agree with you as long as the progress is not in the direction of the US becoming a socialist state. I would not want to live in Greece, France, or Spain.

    April 20, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Taran

    @DDTM........... You have been listening to his brainwashing speeches for too long, telling you "life is good and blame others because it is their fault, not mine" crap......"
    That is called "organizing the community" which is what our president is very good at. Also known as "victim creation," or creating a group "victim mentality."

    April 20, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Obama and the Democrats have the country on the edge of the financial abyss. And you want to "progess" over the edge?!! Any sane person would yell "STOP"."

    You Bushnesiacs make the same silly writing mistakes when you get all emotional. Here, let me fix that for you:

    The corporate predators and the GOBP cult have the country on the edge of the financial abyss. And you want to "progess" over the edge?!! Any sane person would yell "STOP".

    April 20, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Indy

    The Real Truth and NothingAny wonder why gas prices are so high given Obama's War on Fossil Fuel? Just wait until electricity prices do the same thing, as Obama said they must. Then it will become a war on ALL OF US. What does Obama think this will do to the average American family? Answer: CRUSH THEM.

    You are not really that dumb to believe that high gas prices have anything to with any President are you ? You can't be that stupid ! If you have a window you should take a look out once in awhile and look at the WORLDWIDE high gas prices,even in oil producing countries it is higher then the US, and no American President has any control of worldwide gas prices and you know that for a fact.Try using that Google you like so much and learn about why fuel prices are high and you won't be able to find an ounce of TRUTH about an American President creating higher fuel prices around the world.

    April 20, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    No, I'm just pointing out what the republicans have been doing for three plus years! That is, doing everything within their means to undermine this administration and see to it that President Obama and America fail! After all, it is what they stated publicly as being their goal when the President was elected! To see he and America fail even before he impllemented one peace of legislation! When OBL was killed, some conservatives in congress accused President Obama of "violating the sovereignty of Pakistan!" Mitt Romney didn't say thank God America and the world is a little safer but instead he said "I would have gone about it differently." In other words, if Mitt was president OBL would still be alive today and threatening to attack America once more! People like you accuse liberals of blaming the former administration for this and for that but when OBL was killed, Dick Cheyney didn't even thank our Nany SEALS! Instead he accused President Obama of using his former administration's intelligence to get the job done! Pathetic un-Americans! I thought when America wins we all win? And there is GWB and his entire family endorsing Mitt Romney and continuing to embrace and promote the very same failed and misguided policies that ruined us!

    Everything President Obama has done to help the poor, the unemployed and struggling and the middle class have come under harsh criticism by the right! So please don't be mistaken because when I address an issue, I'm not complaining for the sake of conplaining, I'm complaining because the very safe politicians who ruined us are stepping the the way to see that America doesn't move forward! I could care less if the president is conservative or liberal as long as he governs for all Americans, rich, middle class and poor! It is who were are! All of us count, not a selective few! And if you have a problem with that then move to another country!

    April 20, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15